The Arizona man who flagged down a deputy in the middle of the road last week to confess to killing his stepfather is accused of shooting him in a dispute about the Bible, authorities said.
Jay Albert Stevens, 52, told Cochise County sheriff’s deputies that he killed his stepfather, Mark Kilbourne, 61, after an argument Wednesday afternoon in which Kilbourne accused Stevens of never having read the Bible or understood it, the sheriff's office said in a statement of probable cause.
The argument escalated in the garage of the home Stevens and Kilbourne shared. Stevens then went to his bedroom, where he "stewed" for several hours, before he confronted Kilbourne with a .40 caliber handgun in the living room, the statement alleged.
Stevens stood within 5 feet of Kilbourne, who was sitting in a chair, and shot him once in the chest, the statement claimed. Kilbourne was still alive after the first shot; Stevens then shot his stepfather in the chest a second time before he punched him in the face "out of anger and rage," it said.
Deputies said Stevens then dragged his stepfather out of the house with the intention to bury him but decided he was too lazy to dig a hole big enough and knew he would be caught.
Stevens then took his dogs to his sister's house and told her that he had killed Kilbourne, advising her to call the sheriff's office to arrest him, the sheriff’s statement said.
It was then that Stevens walked out into the middle of the roadway at around 1 a.m. MT and flagged down a Cochise County deputy.
Kilbourne had been in Stevens' life for over 20 years, the sheriff’s office said. About four years ago, at Kilbourne’s request, Stevens made his way from Washington state to Arizona to help take care of his mother before she died. Stevens made it clear to detectives that he had a “major dislike” for his stepfather, adding that it had been “a lot of years putting up with his s***,” authorities said.
Stevens was arrested early Thursday and charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of abandonment or concealment of a dead body, the Cochise County Attorney's Office said. He is being held on $1 million bond at the Cochise County Jail.
Stevens' attorney, Sara Xochitl Orozco, had no comment.
Stevens is expected to be arraigned in two weeks, but no official date has been set, County Attorney Brian McIntyre said.